With distributions rolling out versions using the latest versions of GNOME 3, more and more users are coming back to GNOME and finding that it has improved a lot since the GNOME Project first released it. Performance is better, there are more customization and integration features, and there aren’t as many rough edges. However, there are still some major GNOME-isms that can make users cringe. A good example is the way workspaces are managed – GNOME creates and destroys workspaces dynamically, but many users prefer to have a set number of virtual workspaces that don’t change when windows are added. . Here, we show you how to turn off automatic workspaces in GNOME.
GNOME Tweak Tools are essential for anyone who wants to change the default settings in GNOME, down to things like setting a dark theme and including minimize / maximize buttons. The GNOME Tweak tool can be found in most repositories, so you can just use whatever package manager you want.
Once installed, you can find it in your default “Utilities” folder.
Disabling automatic workspaces
To turn off automatic workspaces, open the GNOME Tweaks tool and navigate to “Workspaces”.
At the very top, click on “Static workspaces”. You should be able to set how many workspaces you want, from four to a lot more. Then, when you go to your activity overview, you’ll see all of your workspaces set up for you.
The GNOME Tweak tool has a lot to offer besides defining static workspaces. Some to note are in “Window title bars,” where you can add minimize and maximize buttons and also move buttons from a Windows-like layout on the right to a macOS-like layout on the left.
In addition, in the “Top bar” you can turn off the Hot Corner Activity overview in the upper left corner of the screen. This is very useful if you are not a hot corners user.
Extensions are community-developed additions to GNOME Shell that bring back or add new functionality that users are looking for. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that extensions are one of the main ways to make GNOME usable for me, as the ones I use are simple but drastically change the workflow of GNOME on my system.
To get started with GNOME Shell extensions, go to https://extensions.gnome.org and start looking around. If there is something to install (most distros have extensions by default, so you should be squared) the page will tell you how to do that.
To manage your extensions, I highly recommend the Extensions app. This should be in the repositories of most distributions, but if you are using a version of GNOME Shell earlier than 3.36, you can manage it from the Tweaks tool.
To install the Extensions app, use one of the following commands:
It’s a much more intuitive interface for managing your extensions than previous iterations, and that’s what is recommended for managing them.
Now that you know how to turn off automatic workspaces in GNOME, be sure to also check our review of GNOME Shell and how to manage users in Ubuntu.
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